Rookie Question......Fly Rod/Reed set up theory??????

Capt No SlackCapt No Slack Posts: 43 Greenhorn
Hey I am new to fly fishing and I have a couple of questions.

What is the typical set up for Right Handed fly casters?

You know the vast majority of right handed fisherman when using spinning rods hold/cast the rod with there right hand and reel the spinning reel with there left hand. I am right handed and this is how all my spinnging reels are set up.

A fly rod reel is under slung from the fly rod just like a spinning reel hangs below the rod.....So I assumed for right handed fly casters that you would want the the fly reel handle so your left hand does the winding.

I purchased a fly rod/reel combo and had it spooled up with backing and fly line at the shop where I bought the reel. The store clerk as asked me how I wanted my reel set up.......he told me the reel was reversible and could be done either way and he needed to know what side I wanted the handle on so he could put the line on the reel to match my fishing method.

I did not put to much thought in it and based on my spinning rod/reel preference I told him to set it up so I cast the rod with my right hand and reel the line with my left hand. And that is what he did.

I was watching "Spanish Fly" jose' Wejebe and I noticed he cast the fly rod with his right hand, AND his reel handle is on the right side of the reel. So if he gets a stong powerful fish and end up fighting the fish on the reel, he has to switch hands and move the rod to his left hand and crank/wind the reel with his right hand.

Is this what the majority of Right Handed fly casters do.............I am assumeing the Jose' is doing it the right way and I am doing it the wrong way I just would like to know the theory why????

I would think that you would want your strong dominant hand to be holding the fly rod when doing battle with big strong fish. Fly rods are long and give the fish lots of leverage against the angler, that is part of the beauty of fly rod fishing in that is make small fish seem bigger because of the length/leverage of the rod.

Only thing I can think of is that maybe when pulling line off the fly reel with your left hand and then casting the fly line out for a "Right Handed" caster that the fly line gets hung up or tangled around the handle more when the handle is on the left side of the reel............this happened to me some when I was out fishing in the wind the other this the reason wh?


I would love to hear from experienced fly casters and hear what ya'll have to say about proper rod reel set up

Thanks in Advance

No Slack


  • Chuck SChuck S Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    I've not seen any stats on how we reel our reels in general but have noticed any number of both. I cast and hold the rod right handed and reel left and I've good friends who cast right and reel right. Same goes for a couple of lefty friends of mine. In short this argument or rather discussion has been going on for years now I say you've got it just right!:thumbsup
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,335 Captain
    I would love to hear from experienced fly casters and hear what ya'll have to say about proper rod reel set up

    Thanks in Advance

    No Slack

    Proper is whatever works for you. Most people will retreive line faster cranking with their right hand, but that being said you should set it up the way you're the most comfortable with. I crank left with my light rigs, right with the big stuff.
  • saltydancindavesaltydancindave Posts: 1,255 Officer
    Usually for line weights #9 & lower left hand reeling is fine, but for bigger hooked fish on #10 & up some prefer to reel all that backing faster with the right hand. Sometimes just turning the rod over & reeling in reverse with the right hand works.
  • Capt. ScottCapt. Scott Posts: 94 Greenhorn
    The old adage was to reel with your dominant hand. The thought being that you could reel faster with the dominant hand in case a fish runs towards you. That doesn't really fly though, since the top speed even the fastest of reelers can manage is less than 5 MPH. A lot of fresh water fish and virtually all of salt water fish swim considerably faster than that. Another thought was that reeling with the dominant hand would allow you to reel for longer time at high speed. I've found that for myself, it took very little time reeling lefty until that hand was reeling as fast and for as long as my dominant hand. Avoiding the fumbling hand switching during the hooking, line clearing and getting fish on the reel became much easier. I also found some benefits to having my strong arm on the rod during prolonged fights. It was just about as easy to teach my non-dominant hand to reel as it would have been to weight train that arm to fight fish. Again, this is what I found worked for me.
    The vast majority that come on board my boat these days have found as you suspected...that reeling with the opposite hand with which you cast makes things a lot easier. And after just a little practice, the speed difference is negligible. The short answer is as ODC said...which ever works and is more comfortable for you.
    If you are curious about how to figure your reeling's how I did the math:

    Walk off about 150 ft of line. Reel like crazy for 20 seconds. Measure how much line you reeled in. Multiply times three. This gives you FPM, feet per minute. Multiply that number again by 60 will give you feet per hour. Divide that number by 5280, number of feet in a mile, will give you MPH. Be prepared to be shocked at just how slow you reel...I know I was.
  • Capt No SlackCapt No Slack Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    Thanks guys for taking time to explain the different theories

    I really appreciate it!
  • ghostghost Posts: 40 Deckhand
    This ain't bait-chucking--fly casting is a technique that requires deft control of your rod. CAST with your dominant hand; RETRIEVE with your other hand. So, a right-handers like you and I will cast right, retrieve left.
    I read Florida Fly Fishing :cool:
  • dunflydunfly Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I cast right handed and retrieve left handed. I don't think it really makes any difference. I don't like changing hands with the rod and I like to fight the fish with my stronger arm, i.e. right arm. If you are used to cranking spinning reels with your left hand, it is already trained to crank. Why change everything up for the fly rod?
  • kudzukudzu Posts: 245 Deckhand
    I'm still trying to get over my shock that Jose was using a fly rod. I had about 8 episodes on the DVR this weekend and I swear that in the 3-4 that I watched I didn't once seem him with a fly rod in his hands. A fly fishing show with spinning gear in every episode. :(

    Back OT I cast right reel left.
    Team Fishbusters
    Twitter @redfshwhisperer
    - Pelican Eclipse 116
    "My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it." - Koos Brandt
  • ghostghost Posts: 40 Deckhand
    Jose has a contract with Shimano. I recall the days when he fly fished a lot...back, you know...BS...Before Shimano.... Capt No Slack, I hope we've helped steer you right! Now, don't be a Hose, dump the spin rod, man! :cool:
    I read Florida Fly Fishing :cool:
  • acesoveracesover Posts: 552 Officer
    A different take is that if you use baitcasters, as I do a lot, it's easier for ME to reel my fly rod right handed, as stated before, it's whatever works for YOU! There is no wrong way, so just reel the way that is most comfortable for you.
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